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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,243 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Ford F-150 engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Ford F-150 Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #83

Aug 032011


  • 135,345 miles


Turned over my 2002 Ford F-150. A loud pop occurred as a spark plug/coil pack blew out. This is the 3rd coil pack that has blown since April of 2009. They fix it every time by having to replace the coil pack and spark plug, along with having to re-tap the head. Luckily, this time, I was in a grocery store parking lot. The last two times, my wife and I were driving the truck when it happened, which placed us in danger because it could have caused an explosion. I know there are quite a few other people saying the same things about that happening to them multiple times. I think it's time that Ford pushes a recall through dealing with the coil packs, as more and more people are affected by the same issue, before someone is seriously hurt as a result.

- Watsontown, PA, USA

problem #82

Aug 022011

F-150 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
Went to make an appointment with Firestone to have my plugs changed per Ford manual on my 2002 F150 5.4 liter V8. It was told to me that they would not touch the vehicle as I should contact Ford directly. They claim the plugs explode. We then called the Ford dealer service department in sayville the woman stated at sayville Ford service department the plugs would cost to replace $ $383 unless the plugs explode inside the engine when removed then it would cost 1/2 hour more per plug as they are having problems with the plugs exploding it could run up to a total cost of$ $800 max to remove. Something about new sleeve has to be replaced when it explodes. I was really irate we are only talking about plugs. I then contacted Ford at 1 800 392-3673 at customer relationship center claims they know nothing about this problem well I have a problem with this if Firestone will not touch the vehicle and there own Ford dealers explains they have a major problem then how do you not know about it. Problem. I have a big problem with this not only concerns about engine also the cost factor with regards with the removal of defected plugs I believe they already knew of this problem and as usual they are trying to pass the defect to the consumer. It needs to be stopped.

- Riverhead, NY, USA

problem #81

Mar 152011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 91,357 miles
I was driving home from work doing about 35mph and a large and loud pop followed by repeated quieter popping sound until I shut the engine off. I looked under the hood and confirmed my suspicion. A spark plug ejected from the #3 cylinder. I had to helicoil the head to fix it, otherwise the dealership wanted $1800 to replace the head. 2 months later driving too work the #2 cylinder ejected its sparkplug. Same fix. I'm to worried to drive the truck at this point and haven't driven it since.

- Malibu, CA, USA

problem #80

Jun 012011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 105,000 miles


2002 Ford F-150 with a 5.4L Triton V8. The #7 spark plug blew out of the port and broke the coil. That left fuel vapors from the piston to be exposed to the damaged ignition coil that was arcing and could of caught fire with my kids in the truck. If you look online there are thousands of complaints from F150 owners. This needs to be addressed and a recall from Ford needs to be issued.

- Gill, MA, USA

problem #79

Mar 172011

F-150 8-cyl

  • 50,000 miles
I have a Ford F-150 that has a Triton V-8 motor. It has 110,000 miles. I have had the truck for 3 years and purchased it with a 5 year loan agreement. I was driving and the spark plug blewout of the motor. Apparently this is a common problem, so common that they have a kit thats a qwik fix. Evidently a previous owner had this problem and put the kit on there got rid of the car and it was sold to me by town Toyota in roxbury, New Jersey. It blows my mind that I bought it with 65,000 miles and it alredy had a major problem not only once with a previous owner but also happened to me. Now the only fix is to replace the head of the motor or even replacing the entire motor.I have come into hard times with being laid off from work and having no means to pay for it or even getting anywhere to find work. I am getting price quotes ranging from 3000 to 8000 dollars. Its unbelievable to me theres no recall or compensation. Im stuck with a vehicle that I not only have to pay for but cant even drive. Something needs to be done. My E-mail is [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mt. Arlington, NJ, USA

problem #78

Nov 222010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 117,500 miles
My 2002 Ford F150 with a 5.4 L Triton V8 engine spit out a spark plug for no apparent reason. My F150 has 117,000 miles on it and has had no mechanical problems over it's life. It is serviced regularly and is used for routine driving. I happened to be 30 miles from home when I heard a loud tapping coming from the engine compartment. Knowing a little about engines I checked to see what had happened and noticed that the spark plug had been pushed out of the cylinder head, causing the compression to cause it and the coil pack to continually strike the fuel rail. Fortunately I knew a mechanic in the area 1/4 mile from my location and slowly drove to his shop. He said that it was a common problem with Ford 4.6, 5.4 and 6.8 Triton engines. He added that the aluminum used for the heads was too soft causing the spark plugs to spit out. There was no way of preventing this from happening or predicting when it would happen. The hole for this spark plug had all the treads blown out when the plug came out so I had to leave my truck at the garage for repair. The repair consisted of having to put a steel threaded insert into the head in order to secure the new spark plug / coil pack. The mechanic stated that I should definitely not drive it since it could cause a fire. I could smell the gas fumes from the engine compartment and fully believe this to be a good possibility. I can only imagine if someone was unfamiliar with engines and continued to drive with this condition with the possible result of a fire in the vehicle while their family is aboard. I think Ford needs to do a recall on these engines to have them repaired in a safe fashion to prevent a tragedy of a fire while in operation. Upon a google search of this topic it looks as though there are a multitude of the same type of incidents with these engines. Thank you for your consideration.

- Independence, KY, USA

problem #77

Oct 152010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


In April of 2010 my F-150 truck "spit" a spark plug while traveling at freeway speed. This was a dangerous situation since it was during rush hour and many 18 wheel trucks were traveling down the I-5 at the time and were reluctant to allow a car to pull over. I had the truck fixed at a aaa approved repair station which removed the remaining spark plug, retapped the block, installed an insert and new plug. Then, the same thing happened again in October of 2010 to a different plug. Again I had the truck repaired in the same manner. The risk of fire and collision was directly caused by the failure of these spark plugs.

- Newhall, CA, USA

problem #76

Sep 252010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 102,500 miles
Events leading up to the failure would have to be...everyday driving.... the failure - for the third time now, a spark plug ejected from the cylinder head. Consequences - $800 Ford dealership parts/labor, plus 2 tow truck services. New plug, insert, and coil.

- Lackland Afb, TX, USA

problem #75

Sep 282010


  • 99,149 miles
On September 28th 2010 I was driving from indianapolis, in to louisville, ky on a very busy I-65 interstate. At approximately 4pm I heard a very loud pop and lost all power. I could hear a very loud banging noise and at first I thought I blew a tire. I immediately tried to get from the fast lane to the emergency lane but with as many cars on the road this was difficult. I finally made it to the emergency lane and turned my flashers on. When I got out of my vehicle I checked for a flat tire but that was not the issue. I restarted the truck and lifted the hood of my engine. I noticed that one of my coil power packs was at a weird angle. When I went to check if it was still attached the compression of my number 2 cylinder blew the spark plug the rest of the way out of the engine and hit my hood very narrowly missing my head. The coil was also destroyed by the force of the spark plug coming out of the cylinder. My truck is a 2002 Ford F-150 with less than 100K miles. This is a very dangerous issue that needs to be corrected.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #74

Jun 202008

F-150 8-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
2002 F-150 Ford 4.6 V-8 spark plug ejection. First time happened on June 20 2008 in the number 3 cylinder truck showing 160,000 kms. I removed the head sent it to machine shop to be repaired. 11 months later(182000) the heli-coil that was installed came out with the spark plug. Removed the head and installed reman head (on right side) during the spring of 2010 I started to loose compression on all cylinders, ranging from 0-90 lbs and the best cylinder at 120 lbs) brought it to a Ford dealer, and results showed leaking was around spark plugs. Ford declared I need a new engine. I am lucky enough to be able to do my own repairs. I purchased a used engine from a wrecker and installed @ 190000kms in July 2010. I have spent over $4000 on this problem, and I am not dumb enough to change spark plugs when the engine is hot, I use anti-seize when installing, and torque as Ford recommends! Ford needs to fess up to this issue and offer some sort of recall program. I'm sure that my repair bills would have been double if I had to pay for labor.

- Amaranth, 00, USA

problem #73

Aug 192010


  • 100,000 miles


Starting from a stoplight, I heard a sudden pop and smelled gas. Loud clicking or popping noise caused me to turn around and head straight to the dealer. They said a spark plug blew out, damaging the coil. Initial estimate of $500 grew to $3600 as they said then that the head would need to be replaced due to damage there as well. Researching this problem, it appears that there are quite a few (many many many) Ford owners with this problem! why is there no recall? immediate safety or not, this is an obvious defect.

- Hudson, WI, USA

problem #72

Jul 242010


  • 10,600 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. While traveling at 25 mph, there was an unusual pop from the front end of the vehicle. Immediately, there was an abnormal air pressure release sound. The dealer advised that the engine head would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. There were no prior warnings of the failure. The current and failure mileages were 106,000.

- River Bank, CA, USA

problem #71

Jun 062010


  • miles
2002 F-150 history - have had to replace 4 coils. 2 were burned out and 2 were damaged from the spark plug blowing out the hole, this last time just recently (June 2010).

- Maple Grove, MN, USA

problem #70

Apr 302010

F-150 8-cyl

  • 140,000 miles
Ford Triton V8-4.6L spark plug ejection on #2 plug. This has now happened to me as I was driving at 60mph and it blew it out and the coil spring is now down on top of the piston and smashed within seconds. Towed to Ford dealership and mechanic admitted this was common but no recalls. He scoped the cylinder with bore scope to find the coil spring smashed so bad it could not be retrieved. Estimated cost is $3500 plus remove head and clean out. Can I claim this back to Ford?

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #69

Mar 152010


  • 160,000 miles
Spark plug ejected from engine.

- Laurel, MD, USA

problem #68

Dec 152009

(reported on)


  • miles
2002 Ford F150 spark plug failed. The consumer was charged $2,600 to fix the problem.

- Unknown, DC, USA

problem #67

Nov 292009


  • 86,000 miles
Well the events leading up to the failure....there were none we were driving back home when all of a sudden pop and there goes my #3 spark plug. Well I was stranded for two hours or more until I got my truck towed to my house. The estimated price on a repair for that is $1700 to take the cylinder head apart and install an insert and that price is just for labor no charge on parts yet. This is a common problem that if you look online you will see that many people have the same problem. We need to make Ford stand up for their mistake before someone looses their life do to an open spark and fuel being present and exposed when the spark plug blows out.

- Ontario , CA, USA

problem #66

Oct 312009


  • 73,927 miles
I have a 2002 Ford F150 supercrew harley davidson edition with a Triton 5.4 L engine. I placed the truck in drive and heard a pop and then a continued rhythmic popping. I opened the hood and could tell air was coming from the #4 cylinder. I turned off the engine and investigated further. The spark plug had blown completely out of the head and broke the ignition coil attached to the spark plug wire. So far this is the only incident for me but after researching online, for possible repairs solutions, I found that this is way too common of a problem with these Ford engines. I am only glad it happened while I was pulling out of my garage. If that had happened at speed on the highway with the engine temperature up there could have been a serious situation. After reading all the problems so many others have had, I am afraid of when this could happen again!

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #65

Oct 022009

F-150 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Ford F-150. While the contact was driving 75 mph she suddenly heard a loud popping sound in the engine and immediately the vehicle shut off. A local mechanic stated that the engine seized and needed to be replaced. There were no prior warnings and the current and failure mileages were 100000. Updated 11/13/09. Updated 11/16/09.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #64

Sep 032009


  • 126,000 miles
The spark plugs are being blown out of cylinder heads on all size Triton engines. This occurred on my 2002 Ford F150, and on my father in-laws Expedition. This was on a Triton V-8 and V-10S. When I took it to the dealership in ft wayne Indiana they informed me that this is common on these engines I also spoke with Ford customer care and they claim that this is common. They wont recall it because they claim that this is not a safety issue. I feel that this is a safety issue because it does not shut off the fuel supply to that cylinder. Not to mention it just happens with out any sort of warning luckily I was able to limp my truck to the closest Ford dealership in my area. With my father in -laws Expedition he was just outside of town on his way to Arkansas when his blew out. The only remedy is a healy coil or replace the head, thankfully the coil is reasonable in cost but wont last forever.

- Fort Wayne, IN, USA

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